Two of the most common types of elbow injuries suffered by Americans are tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Both are chronic, overuse conditions that affect the tendons of the forearm muscles at the elbow. Tennis elbow affects the extensor muscle tendons on the outside of the elbow, while golfer’s elbow affects the tissues on the inside portion. While both of these conditions affect golf and tennis players, anyone who does repetitive forearm movements such as working at a computer or repeatedly lifting heavy objects might potentially develop the condition over time.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylalgia is a chronic degeneration from microtears in the tendons that connect the muscles on the outer part of the forearm to the elbow. The condition usually presents as pain on the outside of the elbow that often radiates down the forearm. The pain can limit your ability to grip, lift or carry objects with the affected arm.
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylalgia, has a similar origin as tennis elbow. However, it affects the muscles on the medial or inner portion of the forearm. The pain usually starts around the elbow and will often radiate down the forearm to the wrist.
Tennis or golfer’s elbow can be corrected with conservative treatment such as Physical Therapy and usually doesn’t require surgery. In addition, since the pain stems from chronic tendon degeneration, inflammatory treatments such as ice or anti-inflammatory drugs may not be effective.
At Odom Health and Wellness, we use a collaborative approach to treating tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow which has resulted in better outcomes and faster recovery for our clients. Our Physical Therapists will often utilize Dry Needling, Soft Tissue Mobilization, Joint Manipulations and Therapeutic Eccentric Exercise as effective tools in treatment.
To learn more or start on the road to recovery from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, visit our website at www.odomhealthandwellness.com or call 952-224-1919.